Senator Mutinda blames rising murders of young women on 'obsession for money'

Nominated senator Tabitha Mutinda in an interview with Citizen TV on January 18, 2024.

Nominated Senator Tabitha Mutinda has decried what she describes as a worrying lifestyle among the younger generation centred around transactional romantic relationships.

This is in the wake of a spike in cases of murder against Kenyan women who have been reportedly killed by men in private establishments under unclear circumstances.

The most recent is the case of Rita Waeni Muendo, a 20-year-old university student whose dismembered body was discovered at a residential apartment in Nairobi’s Roysambu area on Sunday after she reported going to meet a friend.

According to the nominated senator, the younger generation has an obsession with money and a flashy lifestyle which is leading them to risk their lives pursuing strangers who they think can finance their lifestyle.

“After KCPE and KCSE, there is sort of a default certificate that has been generated in our society called the socialite or slay queen certificate that the younger generation is awarding itself,” Senator Mutinda told Citizen TV on Thursday’s Day Break program.

“These girls have money, they are loaded. When they talk about going to meet these men, they are talking about business transactions because tomorrow they want to have this kind of phone or car.”

The senator says parents need to be vigilant and question the movement of their children and the source of their money and gadgets if they flag anything suspicious in their lifestyle.

“When at the age of 20, a girl is able to go and meet strangers in an Airbnb, it leaves a lot to question. The society has changed. Girls are coming out and proudly talking about it like, ‘We are in this for business’,” she said.

In Mutinda’s view, the problem is not technology which has revolutionized how people interact or book residential apartments through the internet, but an erosion of the society’s moral fabric.

“Technology is there and we will continue embracing it. Airbnb is not new in this country but we did not have what we have in this country at this rate. Regulation should be there but the question is, will it solve what we are having with our young girls in terms of where they have placed themselves?”

The senator faulted the police for what she termed as reluctance in responding to reports of abuse, citing another recent case where popular socialite Starlet Wahu was on January 4 found murdered at a residential apartment in Nairobi’s South B area after checking in, in the company of a man since identified as John Matara.

More victims have come out to record police statements narrating their assault ordeals with Matara.

“Until the issue of Wahu got to the level that it got, yet girls came out and said from last year they have reported this gentleman. Are the police assuming the cases of young girls and women assuming that it is a mutual agreement?” posed Mutinda.

Makueni senator Dan Maanzo, who was on the panel with Senator Mutinda, argued that young people are succumbing to pressure from social media and getting into risky pursuits. He said the youth have to obey their parents and be streetwise.

“How do you meet a stranger in a private place? It is better to begin in public; churches, universities before you get this intimate,” Maanzo said.

He called on the police to handle such cases firmly, saying, “The police have to nail these people and once they are jailed, others will fear this sort of business and will not participate.”

Rita Muendo’s family on Wednesday said the day before she was found murdered and her body dismembered, they received a message, sent from her phone number, demanding a ransom of Ksh. 500,000 within 24 hours for her release.

On Tuesday, police arrested a male foreign national at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) on suspicion of being involved in the murder.

The suspect was travelling using a Mozambican passport and was intercepted before boarding a plane after he reportedly raised suspicion.

He was interrogated at the airport before being transferred to the Kasarani Police Station pending identification.

However, police are yet to establish whether the man in police custody is the suspect captured on CCTV picking the keys to the rental apartment where the girl's body parts were found dumped.

In Wahu’s case, the socialite was buried on January 6 at her parents' home in Ruai. 

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations has said investigations point to “a possible serial sexual offender who thrives on blackmail to his victims,” and who may be part of a criminal ring that targets women on dating sites and social media.

The government has since issued a directive requiring guests of hotels, accommodation and lodging establishments to surrender their identification documents for recording and withholding during the time of their stay.


Citizen TV Citizen Digital Airbnb South B Roysambu Tabitha Mutinda Scarlet Wahu John Matara Rita Waeni Muendo

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